Imam Johari Abdul-Malik of Dar al-Hijrah mosque gives the opening prayer before the Virginia House of Delegates this afternoon. The effort is part of House of Delegates' desire to reach out to religious leaders of other faiths. However, selecting Johari Abdul-Malik, the mosque's outreach director, or any religious leader from Dar al-Hijrah, is questionable due to their support for radical and political Islamic issues.
Abdul-Malik issued a statement acknowledging criticism of his invitation. In it, he dismissed critics as "voices of intolerance and divisions" that are undermining the interfaith effort of delegates Kaye Kory and Adam Ebbins:
"We therefore should not allow voices of division and hate to go unchallenged. We differ on some [of] our basic beliefs and practices but we hold in common our commitment and love of God, a God of mercy and compassion."